October 31, 2006

The Society for the Promotion of Education and Research, SPEAR, today released the findings of its most recent scientific poll. The poll conducted over one weekend this month, entailed SPEAR officials telephoning some 400 people in rural and urban communities in all six districts and is said to have a five percent error of margin. Director of SPEAR, Gustavo Perrera, told Love News how the poll went.

Gustavo Perrera: Director of SPEAR

“The inclination to vote lets say if the elections were called in six months the overall thirty two percent said they would lean towards voting for a UDP Government twenty two point nine percent said they leaned toward a third party government eleven point eight said they leaned toward a PUP Government and seventeen point one percent said they were undecided. Those who were undecided basically were indicating that they wanted to know a lot more about what the issues were going to be in terms of the political platform of parties with a lean towards solutions as to oppose to just the campaign promises. Eleven point one percent basically said that they had really been disillusioned or disaffected with the whole political process and were not interested in voting five percent did not vote because they felt it was a private and confidential matter.”

The poll also dealt with the present national approval rating for Prime Minister, Said Musa.

Gustavo Perrera: Director of SPEAR

“He got a fifteen point one percent approval rating, seventy point five disapproved of the way presently the country is being led and fourteen point four percent said that they did not have an opinion on the matter. By district in the Corozal District sixteen percent really approved seventy two disapprove. Orange Walk twenty percent approved sixty one point seven disapproved, Belize City eleven point seven percent approved seventy three point four percent disapproved, Cayo twelve point eight percent approved, disapproved seventy two point one percent, Stann Creek nine point five approved and seventy eight point six disapproved in Toledo thirty two point three approved and fifty eight point one disapproved."

We asked Perrera if one could really compare a telephone poll taken over a weekend period to an Election Day and get like results.

Gustavo Perrera: Director of SPEAR

“Ok bear in mind that what we are measuring here is the voting sentiment and so when we polled although as you said there are people who are out of the household. What we have really is a sentiment being expressed and that sentiment is influenced by many factors for example if I am a part of a household I would very likely reflect the sentiments of the household not necessarily in a strict sense right because people tend to be also independent but generally right the important thing there though is the sample selection we took was reflected across the entire country in both the urban and the rural areas, so that the wider sentiment came from the wider population. So we think that the reliability is pretty much the same methodology we used when we did the first poll and as you know that poll proved to be a very accurate one.”

Marion Ali: Love FM

“For the politician who after hearing these results might either say well no I believe those figures should be a little or a little more, how accurate are you results what will you have to say?”

Gustavo Perrera: Director of SPEAR

“Well I think the results speaks foe themselves we feel very confident, one about our methodology we feel confident about the reliability of the poll and so we think it’s up to the political parties now to basically look at it and make from it what they think is important to them in terms of crafting their own campaign strategies.”

Perrera says the poll is SPEAR’s third and comes one year after its first one. Some of the questions asked included whether people approved of the way the Prime Minister is running the country, whether people approve of the Mayor Managing their respective municipalities, whether elections should be called within the next six months, and whether they support a law requiring all political parties to disclose their sources of campaign finance. This last question 81.4 percent of the 400 people polled said yes, while 10.3 percent said no, and 8.3 percent had no opinion. With respect to the question on whether the Mayors were performing well, the poll showed that in all municipalities except Punta Gorda, their Mayors were performing well.